10 Reasons Why Facebook Will Rule Social Media Forever

Think Facebook might be losing its iron grip on the social media market? Think again. The reality is that Facebook isn't going anywhere. Here are 10 reasons why Facebook is here to stay.

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There's been a lot of loose talk lately about how Facebook is losing its iron grip on social media. Saying the kids have moved on and Facebook isn't cool anymore now that the grownups have arrived. Saying newer, fresher services are poised to take over. Saying Facebook's privacy issues are driving users away. And that its aggressive moves to sell ads and, you know, make money, mean that it can't compete any more.

Facebook isn't going anywhere.

Sure, nothing actually lasts forever, and it's always possible that Facebook's throne could eventually be usurped. But, overall, Facebook has never been stronger. As these 10 tell-tale truths make clear, a lot will have to change for Facebook to succumb to the fate of MySpace.

Reach: Facebook Has More Than 1 Billion Users
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Reach: Facebook Has More Than 1 Billion Users

As of this spring, Facebook boasted 1.11 billion monthly users, up 23 percent from the year before. Some 665 million people use it every single day. No other social media service even comes close. Twitter claims 500 million total users, but only 200 million active users. LinkedIn? Just 238 million users. Google+ has 343 million, but who knows what they're doing there. Apple's services -- iCloud (300 million) and iTunes (500 million) -- are big, but tied closely to Apple.

As for those cool new services the kids are supposedly using, like Kik Messenger (30 million users), SnapChat (50 million snaps per day), and What's App (300 million uses), they still trail far, far behind.

Money: Facebook Has More of It Than Anyone Else
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Money: Facebook Has More of It Than Anyone Else

Facebook got greedy and bungled its 2012 IPO, pricing itself too high and angering investors in a variety of ways. But the deal raised a whopping $16 billion, giving the company a war chest sufficient to ward off, or acquire, just about any challenger. Just as important, Facebook stock has finally risen above the IPO price, giving it a market capitalization of more than $90 billion. Clearly, Facebook has the resources to do just about whatever it wants -- and to respond to any challenge.

Making Money: Facebook is Actually Profitable
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Making Money: Facebook is Actually Profitable

Money in the bank is great, but that's only the beginning for Facebook. Unlike most social networks, the company is actually making money. Instead of burning through capital, Facebook had net income of $333 million on revenue of $1.8 billion in the second quarter of 2013. While LinkedIn also makes money, Twitter doesn't even really have a business model, and no one knows whether the privately held company is profitable or not (though some estimates put 2013 revenue at $583 million). Google doesn't break out Google+ financials, but it's a safe bet the company is supporting the social network with profits from its other businesses. The smaller upstarts, meanwhile, barely register as rounding errors compared to the big boys.

Mobile: Facebook Seems to Have Cracked the Code
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Mobile: Facebook Seems to Have Cracked the Code

Everyone knows that mobile is the key to the future of social networking, and observers have long pummeled Facebook for being behind the curve in this critical area. Facebook's mobile apps lacked speed and polish, and the company couldn't figure out how to make money on the small screens.

Facebook's mobile apps are getting better now that the company has embraced native app development for iOS and Android, but there's still room for improvement. More importantly, though, its latest financial results indicate that the company may have figured out how to make money on mobile. (Mobile ad sales reached 41% of the total, up from 30% in the previous quarter). That's why the stock made the big jump back above the IPO price.

Developers:  Facebook's \Hacker\ Culture Attracts Top Talent
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Developers: Facebook's 'Hacker' Culture Attracts Top Talent

If mobile is the key to the future, hiring the best developers is the key to making mobile successful. And Facebook's famous hacker culture continues to help the company attract and keep talented coders. Inspired by mottos like "move fast and break things" and "the Wright Brothers didn't have a pilot's license," plastered across the company's Menlo Park campus, Facebook remains attractive to software engineers even as it's grown far beyond a scrappy startup. As long as the best developers want to work there, Facebook is unlikely to lose its perch atop the social media pyramid. And Zuckerberg, more than many CEOs, truly understands that.

Instagram: Facebook is Already Looking to the Future
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Instagram: Facebook is Already Looking to the Future

Facebook arguably overpaid for the photo sharing and community service it bought in 2012 -- though at $715 million the final price turned out be much less than the $1 billion figure initially quoted -- but the acquisition represented two important steps in positioning Facebook for the future.

First, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks not named Facebook. Those cool kids dissing Facebook still love Instagram -- and Facebook owns it. Second, the Instagram deal showed that Facebook was willing to spend big money to buy technology and users -- it wasn't set on inventing everything in house. That kind of flexibility will be essential to staying on top.

Mark Zuckerberg: More Than Just an \Internet Celebrity\
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Mark Zuckerberg: More Than Just an "Internet Celebrity"

Now that Steve Jobs is no longer with us, Mark Zuckerberg is perhaps the best known techie in the world. (Sorry Bill and Larry and the Google Guys.) The Facebook movie was nominated for best picture (The Social Network) -- that likely won't happen for the Google movie (The Internship). Celebrity gives Zuck, and Facebook, unprecedented access to the levers of power -- and to the still-important mass media.

Even more important, though, Zuckerberg is more than an Internet celebrity, he's also incredibly smart and ambitious. After all, Zuck didn't hire some clever programmer to create Facebook, he did it himself. Plus, he hired Sheryl Sandberg to help run the company once it got big.

Public: But Still Controlled by Zuckerberg
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Public: But Still Controlled by Zuckerberg

Sure, Facebook is a public company with a huge market capitalization. But make no mistake, Zuckerberg still controls the company. A carefully structured IPO let Zuck retain unchallenged control of the majority of the company's voting stock. That means he can't be ousted against his will (which could be a problem someday, but not now). More importantly, it means that he can decide to ignore short-term Wall Street pressures to boost quarterly profits if he doesn't think it's good for the long-term health of the company. That's a luxury very few public companies of Facebook's size enjoy.

User Investment: 1.1 Billion Users Have Chronicled Their Lives on Facebook
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User Investment: 1.1 Billion Users Have Chronicled Their Lives on Facebook

Take a look at your Facebook timeline. There's probably stuff on there dating back years, much of it not easily accessible anywhere else. That's an invaluable resource that Facebook has created, one that won't be easily transferred to a competitor.

Sure, there will likely be a succession of newer, hotter, niche-ier social networks claiming important pieces of the market -- especially for teenagers just entering the world of social media. But Facebook's years of accumulated posts and photos and connections and memories should help it hang on to its central place in the social networking hierarchy. Facebook may have to share parts of its empire, but not the crown.

The Competition: Scattered and Second Rate
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The Competition: Scattered and Second Rate

Even if Facebook were to stumble badly, there still has to be a competitor poised to take its place. Surveying the social media landscape, who exactly that would be?

Google+ has all the power of Google behind it, but still seems aimed at geeks and algorithms, not everyday folks. Pinterest seems of interest almost entirely to women. Twitter -- truly compelling in its own right -- remains far from a full-fledged social network able to replace Facebook. And can you really see any of those hot new teen-oriented networks growing into credible Facebook alternatives? Facebook has huge advantages compared to all its competitors, and none of them seem serious about even trying to dethrone it.